Epidermal growth factor (urogastrone) in human tissues

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Y Hirata, D N Orth


Human epidermal growth factor (hEGF), which stimulates the growth of a variety of tissues, was first isolated from mouse submandibular glands, but is also excreted in large amounts (about 50 micrograms/day) in human urine and is probably identical to human beta-urogastrone (hUG), a potent inhibitor of stimulated gastric acid secretion. However, the primary tissue source of hEGF/hUG is as yet unknown. The hEGF/hUG in homogenates of human salivary glands and a wide variety of other endocrine and nonendocrine tissues was extracted by Amberlite CG-50 cation exchange chromatography and immune affinity chromatography using the immunoglobulin fraction of rabbit anti-hEGF serum covalently bound to agarose. The extracts were subjected to homologous hEGF RIA. Immunoreactive hEGF was found in extracts of adult submandibular gland, thyroid gland, duodenum, jejunum, and kidney, but not in several fetal tissues. The tissue immunoreactive hEGF was similar to standard hEGF in terms of immunoreactivity and elution from Sephadex G-50 Fine resin, but its concentrations were very low (1.3-5.5 ng/g wet tissue). Thus, it is not certain that these tissues represent the only source of the large amounts of hEGF/hUG that appear to be filtered by the kid...Continue Reading


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